- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Texas-based company has asked Iowa regulators for permission to immediately start work on most of the Bakken oil pipeline route through 18 Iowa counties.

Dakota Access LLC, a unit of Energy Transfer Partners of Dallas, said in a filing Thursday that the work must begin this month to complete the project in one construction season.

Pipeline opponents promise to fight the request, The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1YcAF2k ) reported.

The Iowa Utilities Board has approved pipeline plans but said construction can’t begin until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves federal permits.

Dakota Access says it wants to begin work except in areas where preconstruction notifications are required by the Corps.

Des Moines climate change activist Ed Fallon said that his organization is challenging the legitimacy of Dakota Access’ request.

“Throughout this process, Dakota Access has bullied landowners,” Fallon said. “Now, they are trying to bully the Iowa Utilities Board. In doing so, they’re hoping for an end-run around the Army Corps of Engineers - the entity rightfully charged with a full, objective analysis of the wide range of potential impacts of this pipeline.”

The request is another example of Dakota Access trying to build the pipeline on its own schedule, said Adam Mason, state policy director of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. He said the latest request shows that the company doesn’t respect Iowa residents or the state regulatory process.

“These decisions cannot be taken lightly,” Mason said.

Phillip Wallace, business agent for Pipeliners Union Local 798 of Tulsa, Oklahoma, said his union supports the company’s request.

The pipeline would carry oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa on its way to Illinois.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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